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SECTION VI. PORT STATES

This section deals with the duties and obligations of port States to promote effective conservation and management measures. A delegate expressed concern at the provisions that allow the regional arrangement to grant authority to the port State to detain vessels when this authority is that of the port State alone. It was also suggested that the port State be required to notify the flag State of the actions taken.

It was argued by a distant fishing State that the port State has no right to deny access to the port and that, in this respect, the rights of the port State are not absolute and access to a port is a matter of right. In several paragraphs, it is unclear whether the authority is vested as a consequence of regional agreements or if it should be specified in greater detail. A coastal State argued that all ports should be vested with that kind of authority, regardless of where the violation took place. One delegate said that requiring the regional arrangement to grant that authority is a second stage in the process that is not useful.

An amendment was suggested that would require States to enact legislation empowering the relevant authorities to prohibit landings where the catch has been taken in a manner that has undermined the effectiveness of international conservation and management measures. If such universal obligations to this effect were adopted, illegal catches would not be able to enter the market place. It also presents the risk that the contravening vessel would call only in the ports of States that are not party to the regional arrangements. The text was characterized by a delegate as the perfect balance between the FAO agreement (that does not really address the issue) and L.11.Rev.1 (that goes too far).

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